Saturday, June 20, 2009

Join the So What Can I Do blood donation team.

I went to the Red Cross blood center today and gave a pint. Regular readers and regular donors know that blood donation is a fast and easy way to save up to three lives. You never know when you or someone you know will need blood. So please consider donating blood, platelets, or red cells.

And if you do, you’re invited to join the So What Can I Do Red Cross Racing Team. Here’s how:
• Visit .
• After you register scroll to the bottom and click “Team Competition.”
• Enter the So What Can I Do team code: O?67SO .
• Remember to log your donations to win points and prizes.

Hope to see you on the team!

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

Donate Blood
Red Cross Racing

Friday, June 19, 2009

Celebrate World Free Your Mind Day – June 19th.

I spent this Juneteenth thinking about what my family would have been like if my great-great-granddaddy Griffin Henry Belk hadn’t walked off that plantation when he did. I expect it would have made a huge difference, because when Griffin Henry Belk left, he was able to travel (searching for his parents), purchase land (160 acres for $11 in Ozan, Arkansas), and generally prepare to provide for his wife and five children to come.

So I woke up Juneteenth morning and told my daughter about her great-great-great-granddaddy. Even though she’s only two, I expect it resonated with her, or will soon. But when I wished Kwadjo a Happy Juneteenth, I thought, “How is this holiday - my favorite one - relevant to him?” But thinking about Griffin Henry Belk made me realize how Juneteenth is relevant to each of us.

See, Griffin Henry Belk was enslaved, but he didn’t need the Emancipation Proclamation to know that he was free. He was already free in his mind. and since it’s most important to recognize and cultivate your own freedom, in honor of all those everywhere who struggle to be free, I declare June 19th World Free Your Mind Day! Now that’s something we can all celebrate with pride!

O happy day!

"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton

Friday, June 12, 2009

Make Kiva microloans in the US.

I’ve written frequently about microloans - how the concept spread as a tool for economic development, how to lend and get your money back – sometimes with with interest, making a loan a no cost to you, etc. But my most popular post on the topic discusses microloans in the US. I’m pleased to report that there is now another option for those interested in making microloans in the US.

Kiva now offers the opportunity to make microloans in the US. If you’re in the US, this is a great way to help your neighbors move ahead through entrepreneurship.

And if you need a microloan, this means there are more people around to sponsor your business. Contact Accion USA or Opportunity Fund for more information on getting a loan for your small business.

If you join Kiva or are already a member, consider joining the So What Can I Do Kiva lending team. And if you happen to be connected with Swarthmore College, consider the Swarthmore College and Community lending team. Find a team that fits your style or start your own. You'll be amazed at the difference your group can make. Since its launch less than a year ago, the So What Can I Do lending team has already loaned over $5,000!

Microfinance and microlending are great ways to help others reach financial stability and promote economic justice. And it doesn't take much to get started. Happy lending!

He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses. - Horace, poet (65-8 BCE)